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#1 Old 01-31-2004, 06:11 AM
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As if I could keep this a secret forever... People I work with have begun to recognise that I'm not eating meat, or dairy, and have suspected for awhile now due to my rounded previous omni diet, when I ate very little of either. Surprised that it took almost a year. A year for them to notice that my snacks consisit of home-made peanut butter on whole grain bread and pumpkin seed and dried fruits. Friends that come over for my Sunday champaign brunch are beginning to notice the "meat" in their hash brown hails from the "Boca" food group. That there is a proponderance of kale in my fridge.... and nutritional yeast, and lentils, and walnuts, and soy, and .. all those things most omni's avoid.



My family is wondering why I skip the meat when I visit, and avoid the cheese dip for the salsa.



Even as an omni I ate mostly vegetarian, but now it's becoming more obvious. Due to the complete lack of animal product in my diet, those suspicious omini's are now accusing veganism, and rightfully so. I want to now explain my decision, but not in a way that emplies superiority, even though I feel that many omni friends are making a mistake.



Can anyone on this board help?
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#2 Old 01-31-2004, 09:49 AM
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I don't know what your reasons are for being vegetarian, so it's hard to suggest how you would explain it to someone else.



I have found that people can take any reason and turn it into you acting superior if they have the mind to.



My suggestion would be to speak from your heart - and make it about you (rather than them). For example: I've chosen not to consume animal products because I don't believe animals should be eaten (etc. etc.) or I find that I'm healthier when I don't include animal products in my diet.
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#3 Old 01-31-2004, 10:02 AM
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If you sit down with your friends and coworkers, and tell them how you feel about being veg*n, they should understand your decision. It is hard for some people to accept changes in their friends without feeling like they are not as good as their new vegetarian counterparts. But if you just take the time and tell them that eating meat didn't seem right for you, and you are not going to tell them how to eat (less become the infamous "vegan nazi") but you can talk with them about cutting out dairy/meat if they feel like they want to do the same thing. I guess I have found that if you don't force your omni friends into eating veg*n they are more accepting...but as soon as the "you are so gross, you shouldn't eat meat, blah blah blah" (because thats what they hear) begins they start to get offended.
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#4 Old 01-31-2004, 10:19 AM
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I also avoided to let out the secret of being a vegetarian. After people knew about it I thought I should have told it earlier because it turned out to be very simple. Like dvmaire and kerouac already said, better not telling people what they should do, but rather tell them what you do.

If I'm not answering quickly enough - leave a note on Twitter for @Rheumatologe
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#5 Old 01-31-2004, 10:30 AM
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This book helped me muchly: Living Among Meat Eaters



She has good advice for all kinds of situations. I recommend it.



Try your library if you don't want to buy it. (I always suggest the library, don't I?) I was actually able to get my library to purchase the book, so that it could be shared among many people.
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#6 Old 01-31-2004, 11:59 AM
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I'm a little confused as to why you haven't told them yet. I always tell people, in a proud manner, that I am a vegan. If they ask questions, I answer them. If they don't, then I leave it at that. If they don't accept your veganism, that's not YOUR problem; it's theirs.
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#7 Old 01-31-2004, 12:33 PM
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You should just tell them. After all, it's nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone I've told has been really impressed and curious. This past summer, for instance, the woman I was working for and some other women were going out for fast food for lunch and the woman I worked for asked me if I wanted to join them. I felt really bad about turning down the invitation (she asked me twice in fact!) so when she came back I just explained to her that I didn't mean to be rude at all, but that I was a vegetarian and didn't think the fast food place they were going to had anything for me. She was great about it. She asked me a few questions, told me about this other woman she worked with who was a vegan, and said "So that's why you look so good!" I think that it actually turned out to be the best conversation I had with her and it gave me a chance to share my thoughts with someone who was willing to listen
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#8 Old 01-31-2004, 02:34 PM
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I know how you feel, I didn't really tell anyone till they asked. I'd say keep it simple. Just say "I'm vegan, which means I don't eat meat/dairy/eggs anymore". If they ask why you could say "I just don't want to", or you could go into more detail, depending on who asks.
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#9 Old 01-31-2004, 03:44 PM
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At my office it took everyone quite a while to figure me out as well, but once someone called me on it and I said "Oh, I'm a vegetarian" their typical response was "Well no wonder.. you're so nice to every creature you meet!" so that made me feel really good. I still get some STUPID questions about my veggie-nism from a couple of co-workers, but I try not to let it bother me.. I see it as an opportunity to educate them on my diet choices.



Quote:
After all, it's nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone I've told has been really impressed and curious.

Me too Lucycat.. and when you do finally say something wicked_sprite, I would reccommend not going into any details. They will probably be asking you all kinds of veg questions for the next few weeks!! That's what happened to me anyway.. good luck!
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#10 Old 01-31-2004, 05:32 PM
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I don't think you should worry too much about telling people. Most people accept it. The people who knew me before I was vegetarian weren't suprised. I have a hard time explaining why anymore. I usually say its humanitarian reasons, but really there's no reason to eat meat except that its common in our society. I do agree that its better to alert people ahead of time so they don't think you're being rude if you're refusing to eat with them or turning down food they've cooked or brought.
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#11 Old 01-31-2004, 05:34 PM
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Hello, I'm new by the way. I've been lacto-ovo for eight years and I've recently decided to be vegan.
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#12 Old 01-31-2004, 05:48 PM
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This thread reminds me of being in the closet. [Back when] I haven't told the family I'm gay yet, but I know they're probably wondering since I don't talk about girls much and never bring home any dates and aren't too interested in sports, etc etc. ... Is being a vegan really as scary as being a homo? Hmm, who knew. (Though rumor has it the two go hand in hand.) Come out of the closet, tell em you don't eat meat. What's the worst that could happen?
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#13 Old 01-31-2004, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpickell View Post

This thread reminds me of being in the closet. [Back when] I haven't told the family I'm gay yet, but I know they're probably wondering since I don't talk about girls much and never bring home any dates and aren't too interested in sports, etc etc. ... Is being a vegan really as scary as being a homo? Hmm, who knew. (Though rumor has it the two go hand in hand.) Come out of the closet, tell em you don't eat meat. What's the worst that could happen?



I was thinking that too. Actually my mom never really accepted me as a vegetarian and she still tries to set me up with some "really nice chicken" every now and then, but I really think people are born this way.
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#14 Old 01-31-2004, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamweaver View Post

Actually my mom never really accepted me as a vegetarian and she still tries to set me up with some "really nice chicken" every now and then, but I really think people are born this way.



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#15 Old 01-31-2004, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wicked_sprite View Post

those suspicious omini's are now accusing veganism, and rightfully so.



Suspicious? Accusing you of being vegan?



Sorry to be blunt, but are you sure that this is not only in your head? Maybe they're just curious or under-/misinformed. Talk to them.
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#16 Old 01-31-2004, 11:29 PM
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LOL! I can totally relate. I kept it a secret from everyone except my husband for a long time. I was mostly afraid that it wouldn't "stick" and I didn't want people to think I was wishy-washy if I went back. But I didn't. And a year later, many of my friends didn't know. How was I supposed to tell my friends I'd been veg for a year and not told them? Then my friend told me she was coming for a visit. Panic set in. I wondered if I should hide all my vegetarian cookbooks. I wondered if she would notice if I just ate stuff that nomally doesn't have meat, like cheese pizza, and spaghetti with marinara. My husband thought I was being SOOOO stupid. He said if I didn't tell her, he would. So I decided to break it to her before she arrived. I emailed her and told her I kinda sorta hadn't eaten meat for the last year, and it was no big deal. She was totally cool about it and she got me a vegetarian cookbook for Christmas that year.



I was the same way when I got pregnant too. I didn't tell anyone until I was six months along. Needless to say, my parents were a little shocked. My mom had started to comment on my weight gain. Some of my friends didn't even find out until I started posting pics of my daughter on my website. Yeesh.
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#17 Old 02-02-2004, 02:42 PM
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Thanks everyone for the great advice! You are correct! Who cares what they think. Not my problem. Those who respect me with respect my decuision and those who don't aren't worth bothering about. Thanks!
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